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Thread: Ferry accidents

  1. #1
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    Default Ferry accidents

    Gentlemen,
    I hope the enclosed information will have some research value.
    Norman Malayney
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    On 25 May 1944, 1/Lt. Wayne H. Bowers, 60th Ferrying Squadron was cleared from Scott Field, Illinois, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in a P-40. The weather was forecast as scattered to lower broken at 3,000 feet with unlimited visibility.
    About 20 minutes out of Tulsa the pilot encountered a large thunderstorm. He attempted to go around the storm by heading south. The pilot found a hole in the undercast and started back on course. At this point the weather had closed in and he climbed to 2,500 feet and went on instruments for 25 minutes. When he broke out, he had to dodge rain showers and low clouds at 800 feet. Due to static the radio equipment was useless and the pilot flew for approximately 30 minutes looking for a checkpoint. By this time it became necessary to look for a suitable field for landing.
    Near Coalgate, Oklahoma, the fuselage tank ran dry and the pilot switched to the wing tank in order to get the few remaining gallons of fuel. A suitable field was located near Coalgate and in the pattern the engine quite again. The wheels and flaps were lowered, the fuel and switches were cutoff. Because of the muddy field, the pilot was unable to keep the aircraft straight and it veered to the left. The aircraft finally came to a stop against a telephone pole. The left gear was sheared off, and wings, fuselage and propeller were damaged.
    Further examination by the Accident Investigating Officer disclosed that the check value between the front and rear tank was stuck closed, which prevent 35 gallons of fuel from flowing to the engine.
    The immediate cause of the accident was lack of fuel caused by a defective valve, flying through weather below minimums and faulty navigation were contributing factors. A 180 degree turn when the bade weather was first encountered would probably have prevented this accident.
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    On 25 May 1944, 2/Lt. Darrell C. Judson, 60th Ferrying Squadron, was cleared from Montreal Quebec, to Syracuse, New York in an AT-16. The pilot encountered low visibility south of Watertown, New York and became lost. When his fuel supply ran low, he attempted a wheels-down landing near Vienna, New York. On landing the aircraft turned over due to soft ground. the pilot was not injured.
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    On 26 May 1944, 2/Lt. Frederick M. Oldfield, 5th Ferrying Squadron, bailed out of a P-39 ten miles west of Bismarck, North Dakota. The engine began to run rough and the pilot observed flames and white smoke indicating coolant trouble, coming out of the engine compartment into the cockpit under the seat. He pressed the mike button and told Bismarck radio he was baling out. He then pulled the emergency door release and bailed out 2,500 feet above the terrain.
    When the parachute opened, the left s shoulder strap slipped off so that the pilot landed on his left shoulder when he struck ground. The aircraft crashed on a hillside and was destroyed.
    the pilot received first and second degree burns to both hands and arms, about the face and on the right leg. He did not received any injuries from the bail-out or landing.Although the jump was successful injuries might have resulted because of the loose fitted parachute. All pilot should check their parachutes for a proper fit. Some pilot are still wearing loose parachutes that have been fitted over heavy winter flying equipment
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    On 22 May 1944, a C-46 aircraft pilot by 1/Lt. William H. Seamans, 19th Ferrying Squadron as check pilot and 1/Lt William T. Carleton, 60th Ferrying Squadron as student pilot, cleared from Louisville, Kentucky, to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and received clearance from the tower to make a landing. this was the pilot's first landing in this type aircraft. The approach at 110 mph was made over a hill and a gully which existed at the approach to the runway. About 200 feet from the end of the runway, the undercarriage struck the side of the gully about three feet below the level of the airport, with the aircraft in a level attitude. the C-46 bounced into the air and the check pilot applied power and the student flew the aircraft around the pattern. the pilots checked the landing gear and it did not appear to be damaged. the next approach was made for a longer runway even thought it was crosswind in order to use as little brake as possible. On landing the warning horn began to blow but the gear did not collapse. the aircraft was brought to a stop and towed off the runway.
    Examination disclosed the landing gear struts to be bent and the fuselage and wings were wrinkled. The undercarriage later collapsed, damaging the wing spars , nacelles and propellers, etc.
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    On 19 June 1944, Elizabeth C. Shea, WASP, bailed out of a P-39 type aircraft near Hobson, Montana when the aircraft developed engine trouble.
    The pilot, in a flight with Lt. Jay H. Hanna, 74th Ferrying Squadron, as flight leader, had just passed over Lewistown. Lt. Hanna states that after passing Lewistown, the weather looked doubtful ahead because of thunderstorms. He looked back for Miss Shea and noticed that she was having trouble and saw her aircraft in a 45 degree dive. Soon after he saw her bailout.
    Miss Shea stated that after passing Lewistown at about 9,000 MSL the engine cut out, caught momentarily, then quit. She switched gas tanks and checked that her booster pump was on. As She was losing altitude rapidly, the pilot bailed out.
    The flight leader watched the wingman parachute to what appeared to be a safe landing and then contacted the radio range and informed them of the bailout and gave the location. He then landed at Lewistown Army Air Field and within fifteen minutes was on the way with a searching party. Before the party reached the scene of the crash a farmer had found the uninjured pilot.
    As the the P-39 was totally destroyed, the exact cause of the engine failure could not be determined. The pilot had checked the fuel supply at Bismarck, North Dakota, by removing the fuel tanks caps and personally observing that each tanks was full. The pilot was drawing fuel from the droptank at the time of the engine failure and had been drawing fuel from that tank for about two hours. The pilot did not check the fuel pressure gauge when the engine failed.
    The aircraft had been grounded with several other P-39 aircraft at Bismarck when impurities had been discovered in the fuel. The fuel was drained and the carburetor mixtures had been readjusted at Bismarck in compliance with a T.O. change. The impure fuel was discovered after three P-39 aircraft experience engine failure due to undetermined causes.
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    On 8 June 1944, 2/Lt. Robert R. Paxton, 74th Ferrying Squadron, made a normal approach for a landing in a P-40 at Raleigh-Durham Army Air Field. The pilot made the normal gear-down checks, ie. light, pop-ups, and handpump.
    On the final approach, the pilot noticed a slight crosswind and therefore decided to make a wheels landing. When the tail wheel was on the ground the aircraft had rolled about 1,500 feet when the left gear collapsed, damaging the propeller, left wing and gear. Investigation disclosed the retracting mechanism arms had failed.
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    On 25 June 1944, a P-40N serial 44-7451 piloted by 2/Lt. Ernest R. Wolfe, 5th Ferrying Squadron, nosed up while taxiing at Nashville, TN. The pilot received instruction after landing to proceed along the taxi strip in front of the administrative building to the parking ramp. Witnesses state that the pilot was taxiing slowly and "'S" ing in a correct and cautious manner. Although these precautions were taken the pilot failed to see a break in the pavement marked with five-yellow flags. On taxiing into the hole, the aircraft nosed-over, damaging the propeller and necessitating and engine change.
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    On 10 June 1944, 2/Lt Alexander H. Wilson, Transition Instructor, and 2/Lt. George V. Beaty, student both of HQ & HQ Squadron, were flying a B-25 locally on a routine transition flight at Romulus Air Field, Michigan
    On the second landing on runway 5, a follow- through takeoff was made with 38 mm of Hg. On breaking ground, No. 14 cylinder on the left engine blew off. The left engine was feathered by the instructor, but as single-engine speed had not been attained, altitude could not be gained.
    A turn to the right was made with the intention of landing on runway #31. the instructor realized that he could not make the runway and therefore brought the aircraft in west on the grass. When the pilot realized that the airport could be reached, the gear was lowered, hoping to save the aircraft. Because accumulator pressure had been used to raise the gear and flaps after takeoff, and only one hydraulic pump was operating, the gear did not have time to extend and lock. The aircraft belied in and slid to a safe halt.
    It was recommended that cylinder retaining studs be checked in each 25 hour inspection. It was also recommended that 100 octane fuel instead of 91 octane be used in Transition School B-25's because of the high proportion of takeoffs made by Transition School aircraft.
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    On 11 June 1944, A C-46 aircraft pilot by F/O Alfred M. Bertolet, 19th Ferrying Squadron, was involved in an accident on a foreign delivery flight.
    Bertolet and his crew were riding as passengers with another crew which was selected by Operations as a more capable crew for the delivery flight. En route the original pilot became ill and was replaced by Bertolet and his crew on orders of an ATC Control Officer outside the Ferrying Division.
    On the day of the accident, the pilot made a routine engine check and was cleared for takeoff. During the takeoff run, the left engine acted erratic and the pilot closed the throttles. With a long runway ahead, the aircraft was allowed to roll to the extreme. Flaps were lowered so that as little brakes as possible would be necessary.
    As the first portion of the runway was uphill, while taxiing back no brake applications were necessary. Upon reaching the crest, the aircraft began to roll faster and brake pressure was applied periodically.
    About 1,000 feet from the end of the runway, brake pressure was applied to slow the aircraft for a turn off the runway. The brakes did not hold. The copilot unlocked the tail wheel and the pilot started to ground loop the aircraft. Because of proximity to parked aircraft, the pilot changed his mind and decided to let the aircraft roll straight ahead off the runway, hoping there would be sufficient time to halt the aircraft with the braking power available.
    The C-46 failed to halt and rolled slowly off two successive embankments, each about ten- foot drop, damaging the fuselage, wings and flaps.
    Examination disclosed the brakes to be hot, but the brake system was in good order with sufficient hydraulic fluid, 1,200 pounds pressure in accumulator and proper clearances in brakes. Cause of the accident appeared to be brake failure caused by overheated brakes.

  2. #2
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    Norman,
    Have read these Prang Reps with some considerable interest - having been involved in Courts Of Inquiry (from the Met angle) in quite a few in the UK!!!
    There is no doubt that the aphorism "There are Old Pilots, there are Bold Pilots, but very, very, few Old Bold Pilots" comes through again and again. The main disease suffered (in both the Left-Hand, and Right-Hand, seats) by many of these examples is "Presson-itis". Killed many a good Pilot and destroyed many a good airframe in its time. Is there no known cure?? And I've "walked away" from a couple - just to show that Met Men do their bit in the "luft". There are obvious technical problems like, for example, discovering that the blade disc on a taxying Sea King is at EXACTLY the same height as the wing-tip of a parked Hercules.
    The Wright Brothers had a few problems - but modern science and engineering ain't reduced 'em overmuch!
    Good reading!
    Rgds
    Peter Davies

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